Take a Hike Choosing the Right Hiking Boot is Serious Business
Choosing the right hiking boot will make your long walking trip more enjoyable. You will be able to face rugged terrains without slipping, and pound miles of paved road without inflicting excess pain onto your foot. Many hiking boots are waterproof, as well, which helps keep your feet warm and dry in any weather conditions.
There are many styles of hiking boots. Look for a style of hiking boot that is noted for being lightweight, stable, and has one-piece construction. Good hiking boots should have an inner waterproof liner, as well as the ability to repel water on the outside of the boot. Look for a boot that only weighs 2 to 14 ounces. This type of hiking boot is best for moderate and off-trail hikes. One company that makes a style of boot like this is Vasquez Company. Their boot, the Sundowner, offers all the basics of a good quality-hiking boot.
Another style of hiking boot that is available is appropriate for long distance hiking. The sole of this boot should be filled with nylon shank that helps provide great lateral and edging stability for the serious long distance hiker. One example of a boot of this quality is the Mountain Trekker. This boot has desirable features that make it a popular choice, such as gunmetal lacing eyes, rubber rand and midsoles, and full leather lining. This boot is lightweight, too and weighs only 3 to 6 ounces.
Another type of boot that provides hikers with extra support for hiking is the Makalu boot. This is a tough boot designed for heavy-duty long distance hiking. The break-in time for this particular boot is quite long at time, but reviewers like how the Makulu's thick and tanned waxy leather keeps out moisture. Consumers who have purchased this brand also have pointed out that this boot's toe box is a bit narrow. Furthermore, some consumers complain about blisters and hot spots on their feet. This boot weighs more than most at 4 pounds 14 oz.
However, when purchasing hiking boots, it is important to carefully consider the use of the shoe and the shape of your foot. You will be spending a lot of time on your feet while hiking, so it is vital to choose boots that are comfortable. Not all hiking boots are for everyone, so try on several brands and styles before making a decision.
There are several other types of hiking boots that are made for extra comfort. These are the ones that are usually custom made, and are more costly than standard boots. However, the added price a consumer pays for this extra comfort is usually worth it for some. These hiking boots are said to conform to your foot like a second skin, making it comfortable for walking a long distance. Limmer & Sons is one company that makes this variety of hiking boots.
The average boot of this quality is still considered lightweight, but weighs considerably more than most lightweight boots. These boots typically weigh over 4 pounds, which is almost as much as the Makalu style boot that is often recommended. However, for day trips and rock climbing there is yet another type of boot to wear. A boot that is recommended for trips activities is a boot with leathers such as the full grain nubuck, leather uppers, gusseted nubuck tongue, and polyurethane dual density midsole for lateral stability. One boot that has these qualities is called the Triple Divide boot. This is one of the lightest rock-climbing boots available on the market today. One disadvantage of this brand of boot is that it is not meant for heavier load hauling. However, on day trips, even if rock climbing is involved, this type of boot will be sufficient.
Before purchasing a hiking boot, make sure that you know exactly what you will be using it for. You have plenty of styles and boots to choose from for all your hiking needs. Choose a shoe for a particular purpose such as short walks or long day trips, and rock climbing. Furthermore, when purchasing a hiking boot think about the type of landscape you will be trekking through. For rougher terrains any one of the above or similar styles would be appropriate. For designated nature trails, such as the ones in state parks, you can probably wear a very high quality walking or everyday running shoe such those offered by Nike, Asics, Reebok or similar brands.
Try some of these simple ways to make your shoes last longer and take a little pressure off of your wallet.
Buying new shoes can put a strain on your wallet, especially if you have a large family. There are several things you can do to make your shoes last longer and get better value for your hard earned dollars.
One of the most overlooked ways to save money on shoes is to purchase well-made, high quality shoes. You may be able to find shoes at lower prices at discount shoe stores and bargain department stores but they are likely to be made cheaply out of man made materials that seem to disintegrate with daily use. The money you save buying cheap shoes will be lost when you need to replace them more often. Purchasing shoes that are well made out of durable materials such as leather and suede may cost more but the shoes will last much longer.
One of the first areas to wear out on shoes is the sole. Shoe soles can be protected from wear in advance by gluing a layer of rubber onto the bottom of the shoe. This can be done by a shoe repair shop or on your own if you can obtain the rubber. Gluing rubber onto the sole of the shoe is an inexpensive preventative care method that can be repeated as the rubber wears down. Rubber will also give extra traction to your leather soled shoes in the winter. Dragging your feet when you walk will make short work of the soles of your shoes. Pay attention to the way you walk and be sure to pick your feet up with each step.
Using shoe inserts is another great way to prolong the life of your shoes. Shoe inserts can absorb odor and moisture and protect the inside of your shoes. When the shoe inserts get soiled you can simply replace them. If you are extremely thrifty you can even make your own shoe inserts out of cardboard or scrap cloth.
Storing your shoes with newspaper stuffed inside of them can keep your shoes from losing shape and also absorbs excess moisture.
Sneakers can be given a new lease on life with a bit of bleach. Most sneaker soil can be removed with a mixture of half bleach and half water and a soft cloth. Take off the shoe laces and toss them into the washing machine with some bleach and they will emerge as good as new. Any scuffs or scratches in your sneakers that you can't remove with bleach can be buffed away with a bit of white shoe polish.
If your shoes are leather or suede you can protect them from the elements with a protective spray or saddle soap. Periodically treating your shoes with one of these products will keep them from being stained and damaged by water, snow, and salt. Always wipe your shoes down when you come in from bad weather to keep moisture from settling into the surface of your shoes and to keep any salt from drying into a crust that is hard to remove.
Removing your shoes incorrectly can actually cause unnecessary wear and tear. Always unlace your shoes and remove them with your hands rather than kicking them off by pressing down on the backs of them with your opposite foot. While it may take a few extra seconds to remove your shoes, your toes and heels will get less abuse.
The way you sit and stand can wear away the toes of your shoes. Pay attention to the way you sit when you are at your desk or on the train. Do you cross your ankles and rest your toes on the ground? Do you sit with your toes bent under? Most of us do one of these things without even realizing it. Try to sit and stand with your feet flat on the ground at all times. Not only will this save wear and tear on the toes of your shoes but you will have better posture.
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